Friday, April 10, 2009

For no reason

Nick Adenhart was a 22-year-old starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels. He never appeared in a police blotter, didn't say anything dumb in front of a microphone, had no public persona of being a drinker or a cheat or anything else but a reasonably talented prospect. The Angels gave him the ball for their second game of the year against Oakland, and he worked six shutout innings despite struggling with his career. The Angels wound up losing the game.

The next day, Adenhart was killed in a traffic accident.

When someone dies at such a young age, especially a person of means like a professional athlete, the brain searches for answers. He must have been involved with something that brought him down. The perils of not distancing yourself from bad associates. Personal demons that we want to romanticize on some level, because evil is always romantic in the abstract (and ugly and dull in reality).

Adenhart didn't have any of that. He just got killed by someone operating a car, with a history of drunk driving who seems to have been drunk at the time, who then fled the scene. The suspect is being tried It could have happened to anyone. It just happened to hit someone working a famous job.

And it serves as a bit of a reminder, really, that there are no guarantees in this world, and those decades that we all think we have in front of us are just illusions. We all know this intellectually, of course, but having the emotional kick added to things is what makes it all so unsettling.

And so it goes.

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